Definition of canonist in English:



  • An expert in canon law.

    • ‘However, the consensual theory of the Church canonists would have been attentive to and would have valorized ‘the freedom and autonomy of the individual in the crucial matter of marriage’.’
    • ‘We now permit priests to leave the active ministry and remain good Catholics, albeit ‘reduced to the lay state ‘- as infelicitous a phrase as the canonists have ever devised.’’
    • ‘Her book, a masterful retrieval of the natural law perspective of medieval theologians and canonists, contributes significantly to current debates in fundamental moral theology.’
    • ‘Using the language of ‘rights’ within the church is often misleading, but since the canonists have chosen to address the question in this way, let us recall some recent history.’
    • ‘First, our June 1 editorial, ‘The Do-Nothings,’ refers to a Vatican canonist's view that the rights of priests would be violated by some of the measures the U.S. bishops were proposing to take at their Dallas meeting.’
    • ‘Select quotations from Augustine's anti-Donatist writings enabled some medieval canonists to make him look as if he were justifying the stern measures against heretics adopted in the later middle ages.’
    • ‘In response, the bishops' conference appointed a subcommittee of canonists who drew up a new set of guidelines responding to the Vatican's wishes.’
    • ‘Whereas the Roman Law assigns to the term ‘intent to get married,’ an emotive or affective quality is what the canonists now sought to convey.’
    • ‘Keeler reported on consultations that had been held months earlier with bishops, theologians, canonists, and sundry lay leaders, all suggesting that it would be a big mistake to publicly sanction offending politicians.’
    • ‘Some canonists argued on the pope's authority as ‘vicar of Christ,’ because the pope, being something more than a man, can put asunder a marriage!’
    • ‘In a distinctly medieval way, ressourcement was also the method of the theologians, canonists, and craftsmen at Chartres.’
    • ‘The jongleurs' display of the naked body and reliance on shameful movements further led both monastic writers and canonists to associate them with prostitution and lust.’
    • ‘It is for that reason he insists that the canonist exercises a church ministry - a ministry that ramifies to everything from liturgical celebration to pastoral strategies of various kinds.’
    • ‘The same change of perspective might equally apply in our attitudes about the canons, and canonists, generally.’
    • ‘This is the distinction of a canonist, not a theologian.’
    • ‘Medieval canonists like Gratian, theologians like Peter Lombard, and later, Alexander III, subject marriage to much examination and scrutiny.’
    • ‘The document was ‘deep-sixed’ and the canonist was advised that he should look for another ministry.’
    • ‘Like 99 percent of Catholics, I am neither theologian, canonist, nor clergyman.’
    • ‘Wolfthal makes room in this first chapter for a critique of past art historical treatments of ‘heroic’ rape imagery, focusing on text-book canonists like H. W. Janson and Frederick Hartt.’
    • ‘That Aquinas does not follow the canonists in explicitly naming defense against attack as a just cause for resort to force follows, I suggest, from his commitment to this larger conception of defense.’


Mid 16th century: from French canoniste or medieval Latin canonista, from Latin canon (see canon).